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Russia: Pilot Yaroshenko meets with family after 12 years in US custody

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Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, sentenced in the US, returned to Russia on April 27 after 12 years in custody. His wife and daughter met him at Vnukovo airport. Footage shows Yaroshenko walking down the gangway, hugging his relatives. The exchange of US Former marine Trevor Reed, convicted in Russia, for Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko, sentenced in the US, took place in an airport in Turkey. Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova confirmed the exchange of the convicts, speaking at a press conference in Moscow. According to the Russian MOFA, Yaroshenko ‘was treated with discrimination and faced with degrading manner, including refusals of proper medical care’ during his imprisonment. US President Joe Biden said that the negotiations that allowed to bring Trevor back to the country ‘required difficult decisions.’ He also stressed that Washington will continue its efforts to bring home other American citizens imprisoned in Russia. Konstantin Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in 2010 by US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in cooperation with local police. Later, he was taken to the US, where he was found guilty of conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the US and sentenced to 20 years in prison in September 2011. The Russian citizen did not plead guilty. Former marine Trevor Reed was found guilty in 2021 by the Moscow court of violence against a representative of the authority after a drunk incident in 2019. He was sentenced to 9 years in the penal colony and a fine of 300,000 rubles.

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